Monday was opening day down at Coors Field as the Colorado Rockies kicked off their home season against the Houston Astros. This seemed to be pretty common knowledge among people on campus.
It was especially interesting to observe that while many seemed particularly aware of the happenings at Coors Field on Monday afternoon, too few seemed able to piece together any significance behind the group of individuals marching through campus and onto the Lory Student Center plaza last Friday.
One student wondered aloud about the individuals in the procession carrying flags. “Are those Mexicans?” asked the student. In fact, the group consisted of members of the local Muslim community marching to demonstrate their opposition to the occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel. Some marchers displayed the Palestinian flag (which really bears very little resemblance to the Mexican flag) as they marched.
I’ve heard individuals assert that they don’t feel the need to inform themselves about what they believe to be the problems of the Middle East because it has no impact on their lives.
“What those people do to each other over there is their own issue,” said a fellow student recently. And though I marveled at the eloquence of this statement, I couldn’t resist requesting clarification on just who exactly “those people” are and precisely where “over there” is. “Saddam Hussein and the people in Afghanistan,” answered my peer.
We should all be interested in what’s happening “over there” to “those people.” If for no other reason, simply because everyday people are dying needlessly; real people, real, living, breathing people, just like you and me. Our nation’s response to the events of September 11 demonstrated that Americans have a great deal of compassion for death incurred by innocent civilians, so why aren’t we now moving to demonstrate that compassion once again? For those of you who would still fail to express concern, I’d implore you to conjure up an image of your car sitting idly in its parking space with no fuel available to propel it. How on Earth would you get to the mall?
I find it significantly disturbing that as we sit on the verge of witnessing (and possible participating in) a third world war, there exists such an abundance of ignorance. This ignorance can’t possibly be attributed to the absence of information. News, both alternative and mainstream, is readily available in any given number of forms and from an immense variety of sources.
I would commend those of you who have taken the time to inform yourselves on the current events of our world. Regardless of which perspective you side with, I respect the fact that you’ve taken a proactive approach to your existence in this world. I strongly believe that as individuals, we have the responsibility to act as informed participants in our daily lives. For those of you who have forgone this responsibility in order to keep up with this season’s fashion trends, today’s baseball statistics or this weekend’s Hollywood Box Office hits, I’d request that you refrain from firing up your gas-guzzling, tanker of a road hog until you can figure out why you’re part of the problem and what actions you can take to become part of the solution.
Veronica Garcia is a senior majoring in sociology.